When he summoned a famine on the land and broke all supply of bread, he had sent a man ahead of them, Joseph, who was sold as a slave. (Psalm 105:16-17 ESV)
Famines come in many forms. We hear of the starving children in Africa, read about drought stricken areas where there is no enough water for crops, see the ravages of natural disaster on the news. But there is another famine spreading here in this abundant and plentiful land in North America. It is a famine of faith.
So many people have lost faith. They have lost faith in their employer, lost faith in the government to rule prudently, lost faith in their elected officials who promised to represent their best interests. Women lose faith in their relationships, because the pot bellied guy snoozing on the couch seems more of a frog than their dashing Prince Charming. Men lose faith in their wives because they are so busy with job, kids and volunteer work they no longer give the men their sole undivided attention. Parents lose faith in their children who didn’t turn out the way they envisioned. Teens lose faith in their parents because they begin to see their moms and dads have flaws. Victims of crime lose faith in the system.
And way too often they see this chaotic world and ask, “Where is God? Does He exist? I thought He was supposed to be in control?”
The answer is – He does. He never left. He is right here. Even when the world is crumbling around you, He has a plan. He has a Joseph He has sent ahead. We just need to seek him out.
Joseph, sold into slavery by his brothers, was sent to Egypt. But he had interpreted the Pharaoh’s dream and told him after years of abundance there would be years of lack so it would be wise to store up. Because of his smarts, charisma and God’s grace, he ended up being Pharaoh’s right hand man. When famine hit Israel, his father Jacob sent his brothers to Egypt to beg for grain. Guess who they were supposed to see?
If you are in an abundant place and you feel God has blessed you abundantly- store up. Continue in prayer, Bible study and serving. Don’t take God for granted. Then, when bad times hit, your faith will be stronger. You will have the resources to see you through, as Joseph did. He never lost faith.
But, if you are in a bad time and your faith feels starved, look for the Joseph in your life. God is preparing someone or something as your relief. The thing is, you may have to humble yourself to receive it, just as Joseph’s brothers did.
And, it just may be that God will call you to be someone else’s Joseph – to be His messenger to them and to provide them with some of your faith to feed their hunger for truth. Even if they wronged you as Joseph’s brothers did, will you react in love?
We have what the world is starving to have – faith. Share the Bread of Life today and feed some souls. Give a smile to the down in the mouth and frazzled clerk behind the cash register. Open the door for someone who is laden down with bundles in their arms. Do a little something special for someone just because you love them. And above all else, pray.